Pompidou, Gromyko Confer; Mideast a Major Topic
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Pompidou, Gromyko Confer; Mideast a Major Topic

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President Georges Pompidou and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko met here for nearly two hours today in talks that ranged over major world problems and in which the Middle East conflict figured prominently according to diplomatic sources. Gromyko, who arrived here last night for a three day official visit, was accompanied by Mikhail Sytenk, head of the Soviet Foreign Ministry’s Middle East department. His presence was seen as an indication that the Middle East figures high on the agenda of the Franco-Soviet talks.

Police today released five Jews who were arrested last night when about 20 Jewish demonstrators broke through police lines in an attempt to storm Gromyko’s car at Le Bourget Airport. None of the demonstrators managed to approach the Russian diplomat.

No details were released today on Gromyko’s talks with President Pompidou and Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann. Both sides stressed, however, that there was a “full identity of views” on the Middle East during their discussions. Diplomatic sources informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “no diplomatic initiatives are expected to emerge from the talks” despite the stress that both France and the Soviet Union place on a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The sources said that France and Russia will concentrate mainly on analyzing the current situation and “drawing the lessons of the past.” They stressed that both countries continue to consider Resolution 242 as the basis for any Mideast political settlement and that “this approach will be maintained.”

Observers here said Gromyko’s visit to Paris would serve mainly to reassure the French that they remain “Moscow’s favorite partners in Western Europe.” Gromyko is scheduled to meet with Premier Jacques Chaban-Delmas before his departure Thursday.

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